WHAT ARE YOU SELLING?
Whether we like it or not, we’re all selling something. That’s the sole purpose of a business, otherwise, they fail. But let’s get away from these negative vibes, and let’s talk about the positive selling experience.
And I'm not just talking about increasing sales, I’m talking about creating an experience that your customer will want to return to. Regardless of your business, we all have some kind of interaction that hopefully ends in a sale. So in this two-part blog series I’m going to focus less on the customer experience and more on the qualities of a great sales person.
QUALITIES YOU NEED TO PERFECT AS A SALES PERSON
BE WELCOMING & FRIENDLY
Unless you’re planning to work at Dick’s Last Resort, the first quality you need to master is being welcoming and friendly.
Though this might seem self-explanatory and obvious, it’s not practiced enough.
First impressions are everything, so when a customer walks in to your business, you need to welcome them in a friendly manner that doesn’t make them feel like you’re just looking for a sale.
All too often when walking into a store or business, we immediately hear “how can I help you?” And though that question makes total sense, it’s become impersonal due to overuse.
So try approaching this scenario more like a friend. Try asking how that person is doing or complementing them on an article of clothing they’re wearing.
You can also try bringing up an event or cultural reference that’s common in your area. In our case, being that we live in Orlando, there's always something going on at Disney, Universal, or downtown, that are great conversation starters.
This helps you build rapport with your customer, which is so crucial. Having your customer trust you is the goal. That way when it comes to the actual selling portion, it feels less like a spiel and more like a personalized recommendation.
Selling products is what makes a business profitable, so knowing their features, understanding the sales process, and how a customer will utilize the products is extremely important… Especially the more intricate details.
Today, customers have the ability to learn about your product online. In fact, 77% of customers read reviews online before purchasing. So when the time comes to actually buy, their only remaining questions tend to be the more difficult ones. And not knowing the answers can be a deal breaker for them.
So whether you’re an employee or a business owner, knowing and understanding your product should be a requirement.
To improve your product knowledge, take time to understand everything about your product, your role and the selling journey.
Start by looking at all internal resources available, whether that be the cook the makes the meal at your restaurant, or your company’s online product page. Look up what questions people are asking about your product or industry. You can also, ask coworkers and team members what they are asked most often and what questions stump them.
Doing these will help you increase your knowledge, making you a more confident salesperson.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Continuing the theme of product knowledge, mastering how you share that knowledge is also worthwhile.
When interacting with customers, asking the right questions helps in building customer loyalty. It also shows you care about their buying experience. If we don’t ask our customers questions, they might end up walking out with the wrong product, and ultimately the wrong experience.
In order to ask better questions, think about the type of questions that are best in helping customers make their decision.
The two main types of selling questions are open-ended and close-ended.
- An open-ended question is one that requires more of an explanation as an answer.
- A close-ended question solicits a simple yes-or-no answer.
Both are important during your interactions with customers. Use open-ended questions to help the customer expand on their wants and needs, and use close-ended questions for clarification.
For instance, you might ask, “what features interest you most about our product?” This will help you better understand more about the customers interest. And in order to confirm, you could ask, “so it’s the ________ feature that is what you're looking for?”
Asking the right questions at the right time will earn your customers trust and inspire them not only to return, but to specifically return to you.
Selling can seem very intimidating, but like all tasks, it’s practice that makes perfect. Using these tactics can help in any selling experience, but ultimately it’s about creating a great experience for your customer. I hope you enjoyed these tips and look out for Part 2 in the coming weeks!
Did you find these qualities helpful? Have you experienced these during your sales interactions? I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.
- 75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics, by HelpScout
- 77% of People Read Online Reviews Before Buying: Are They Finding You?, by Business.com
- 107 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics That Will Help You Sell Smarter, by HubSpot